Lies in the Darkness

by KT

Disclaimer: Not mine not making any money.

Author’s Note / Warnings: This story contains references to, but no graphic descriptions of, m/m rape and torture. It is a story with a lot of darkness in it. If you don’t like the idea of the guys breaking the law - no matter what the provocation - don’t read on. Heidi and Mow are real - everyone else is fictional.

There are strong similarities to LT's amazingly powerful story Gone. The two stories were written independently and both authors are aware of the others' work.

Size: Approx 160K

Part 1 - 3 | Part 4 - 6 | Part 7 - 9 | Part 10 - Epilogue

Part 1
Denver General Hospital
Chris fingered the tape machine nervously, he'd volunteered for this, even insisted, but now he was having second thoughts. They all knew what injuries Buck had sustained, had guessed at what he'd been through, but now he had to get Buck to describe it in all its horrendous detail. Buck was lying on his side in his room; even after four weeks he was still covered in bruises. There was not one part of him that appeared to be a normal colour. Everywhere he was black, blue, violet, green, yellow, brown, and deep red but no normal skin tone. The only exception was his face, which was unmarked, still deathly pale, it only served to emphasise how badly the rest of his body was damaged. As Chris came in he looked up and managed a weak smile, then as Chris came closer he saw the tape machine and the smile disappeared. As Chris sat down next to him he averted his eyes.

"Buck you know we have to do this, right?" he said softly, already having turned on the tape and set it on the small table beside the bed.

"U-huh" Buck replied, taking a deep breath. Then he pushed himself up a bit, and looked Chris in the eye.

Fourteen Years Later

"Hey Judge," Buck Wilmington greeted AD Travis, as he came into Team Seven’s offices.

The former Judge's normally affable nature seemed to be distinctly lacking as he stood eyeing Buck. He looked haggard, with a distinctly grey pallor.

"Agent Wilmington, please come into Mr Larabee's office," he instructed formally.

As Travis knocked and then let himself into Chris' office without waiting for a response, Buck stood.

"God Buck, what did you do?" asked JD Dunne, sounding genuinely worried for his roommate.

"Nothing, least ways not that I know of," Buck sounded worried as he tucked his shirt into his blue jeans and did up his cuffs.

As he entered the office he heard Chris ask what was going on.

The remainder of the team speculated about the possible reasons for Travis' visit. But in truth they could not think of anything that would account for the odd turn of events. While Buck had a very colourful turn of phrase and a temper, he was a professional and he knew how far he could legally go. Their speculation was suddenly ended when the sound of a chair hitting the ground came from the office. There was a brief silence then Buck's voice could be heard, he was shouting but no actual words could be made out. Suddenly, he burst from the office and into the corridor without even a glance at his friends. JD was up and heading after him when he was stopped by Chris' voice.

"JD stop!" he commanded, then, in a softer voice he continued. "Let him go - he needs to be alone right now."

Chris turned to the rest of them. "Conference room, all of you. Now."

There was an air of tense curiosity as the five men followed their boss and the ex-Judge into the conference room. As they all sat Chris turned to face them, and then turned away again.

"Aw shit - where do I start?" he asked himself out loud.

"Chris is Buck okay?" JD asked anxiously.

"No…no, Buck is not okay." They waited for him to say more but nothing was forthcoming. Eventually Travis spoke.

"Chris why don't you let me start?" the judge offered.

Larabee nodded, and turned to look of the window as Travis began.

"Fourteen years ago, when Chris and Buck were both homicide detectives, there were a series of murders here in Denver. Four young men disappeared, one each weekend and their bodies were found one or two days later, beaten to death, most likely with a baseball bat. Chris and Buck weren't working on the case. On the fifth weekend Buck was out on a date when he was drugged and kidnapped. He managed to escape despite severe injuries. Eventually he testified against a man called Ross. There was no evidence against him for the murders, but he was sentenced to life for Buck's attempted murder, assault and kidnapping." Here Travis paused, as he allowed the others to take this in. "Last night Ross escaped from prison," he concluded.

Chris tuned back from the window.

"That bastard did a real number on Buck, nearly killed him, put him in a coma for two weeks. He promised in court that he always finished what he started, no matter how long it took," he explained.

"Shit," Nathan exclaimed.

+ + + + + + +

Buck's wasn't seen by any of them again that day. Chris went home with JD early but he wasn't there. At around two he came in, drunk, very drunk. Buck was a drinking man but rarely got genuinely drunk, even after putting away large quantities of alcohol, he remained rational and in control. Tonight he was belligerent and feeling sorry for himself. His less than silent entry into the apartment woke Chris, who had dozed of in front of the TV.

"Shit Larabee, what a' ya doing in my house!" he spat out, swaying slightly in the doorway.

"We were worried about you," Chris said in slow, measured tones, trying to keep his voice neutral. "Why don't you come in so you don't wake up the neighbours?" he suggested.

Buck didn't say anything but he did come in, slamming the door behind him. All the commotion woke JD from what had been a very light sleep, and he emerged into the living room in his boxers and a tee shirt looking dazed.

"You're home," he exclaimed, adding, "God, are you okay, you look like hell?"

"What's the matter kid - don't think ol' Buck can take care of himself, you reckon a six feet four, gun toting, ex-cop, federal agent needs his hand held, boy?" Buck advanced on JD, looming over the much smaller man. "Well kid, what do you say, you reckon? Reckon I can manage a night out without some snot nose kid and an ex-drunk to hold my fucking hand or not?"

JD stepped back, not so much because he was afraid, but to escape the overwhelming stench of whisky and urine, waving his hand ineffectually in front of his face as he moved.

"Don't I smell good? Well so sorry, I got drunk and I pissed my pants, there - happy?" he suddenly turned on Chris "Why are you here? You don't live here. Piss off home to your nice ranch, an' yer nice horses, and that nice little black hole you keep yer memories in so no one else can share them!"

The punch, when it came, was lightning quickly, and with the added effects of the booze, the effect was instantaneous.

"Catch him JD!" Chris instructed.

JD didn't so much catch Buck as prevent him from crashing to the ground, easing him slowly to the hardwood floor of the living room.

"Well now what?" JD asked.

"Now nothing, we put him in a safe position, pull off his boots and coat, cover him with a blanket and go the bed," Chris said, completely matter of fact.

"You sound like you've done this before."

"Many times, only the roles were reversed, and he never hit me, just used to stand there and take it 'till I keeled over, guess I don't have his patience."

Chris rolled Buck into the recovery position so he wouldn't choke, and covered him with a fleece blanket that JD offered him.

"Chris?" JD got Larabee's attention.


"He didn't mean what he said, you know, about your memories, he’s drunk and he didn't mean it," JD tried to reassure his boss and friend.

Chris gave a small, almost sad smile. "Yeah he did JD, people are usually at their most honest when they’re drunk, but it's okay, it's not as if he told me something I didn't already know. If I was gonna get mad with him for telling me the truth about myself, our friendship would have ended years ago."

"He's gonna be awful stiff in the morning," JD ventured.

"Don't worry kid, he'll be too hungover to notice. Sleep well, old friend."

JD watched as Chris patted Buck on the shoulder before standing up and heading back to the sofa.


"Yeah JD, what?"

"This Ross guy, he can't be the only person Buck ever put away who threatened to kill him, hell, even I've had that happen, one of them is out already."

"I guess we all have, what's your point JD?"

"Why is Ross different? I ain't never seen Buck like that, never."

"This was no Saturday night beating JD, took him a long time to get over it." Chris wished he could say more but he had promised Buck in the office that he wouldn't.

JD sensed he was going to be told nothing more and with a quiet 'good night' to both men, returned to his own room.

Part 2

Come the morning, Buck awoke on the living room floor to find an army of construction workers with jackhammers had taken up residence in his head. His attempt to rise off the floor was hampered by stiff muscles and the lack of purchase his bootless, but socked, feet found on the smooth wood floor. The need to reach the bathroom however, gave him impetus and he finally made it to a vertical position before he sprinted for the first floor bathroom, it being the closest. When he finally stood up and looked in the mirror he found a note taped to it.





Despite the killer headache, Buck couldn't help grinning at the note, which had been printed in huge font size and totally obliterated the mirror. It took him three hours to feel human. He took the medication, drank the coffee, showered, and then bathed, put every stitch of clothing he was wearing in the wash, shaved and finally made himself a bacon omelette which he consumed with half a pint of orange juice.

"Kid?" he called from the doorway of JD's room.

Dunne spun around on his expensive office chair to face his friend, a bright smile on his face.

"Hi, you look almost human I guess," he commented.

Buck looked down, ashamed of his behaviour. He couldn't remember most of it, but he was all too well aware of his usual behaviour when roaring drunk. It was one of the reasons he tried to do it so infrequently.

"Sorry JD."

"What for?"

"Don't know, figure there must be something though, usually is."

Dunne shrugged. "You were loud, rude, and you stank, but that's about it, mostly you were rather sorry for yourself." JD explained.

Buck rubbed his jaw. "Did I hit something when I went down?" he asked.

"No something hit you, Chris to be precise, you were being honest with him at the time," JD explained with a wry smile.

"Oops, no wonder m' jaw hurts. Do I have to apologise to him?"

"Nah, he's cool, says he was much worse, and you never even hit him, so he figures he had it coming."

JD explained that Chris had given them both the day off which, since it was already three thirty, was a good thing. Buck made himself some more coffee in an attempt to stave of the overwhelming desire to sleep; he drank it as he looked out of the window down onto the street. There, parked outside very conspicuously, was a black and white patrol car. He knew it was there for his protection, but he also knew it was pointless, if Ross wanted him, he would find him.

Despite the coffee, Buck couldn't stave off sleep. He managed to stay awake until the evening, but eventually he had to give in and go to bed. The nightmares came back that night. They were as vivid and as terrifying as they had been fourteen years ago. His shouts and screams brought JD running that night. They continued night after night, and night after night Buck told him not to worry and go back to bed. But days turned into weeks and even months and Ross did not come, there were no reports of him in the state, let alone in the city. The police scaled down their protection, and finally stopped it when they received a confirmed report of Ross being sighted in Arizona. The nightmares subsided, they didn't go away, but they became less frequent and quieter.

+ + + + + + +

Some four months after Ross broke out, Team Seven returned to Denver after a long and arduous assignment in Montana. Buck and Chris had been under cover for six straight days, six days of being unable to relax and be themselves or drop their guard once. And all that time, JD had been in the surveillance centre watching out for them and Ezra, worrying about them. Too tired to make the hour and a half drive to the ranch, Chris was staying with Buck and JD for the night. When they finally got home it was past midnight, Chris barely had the energy to open and make up the sofa bed. Buck and JD made their way to their own rooms on the second and first floors respectively.

Ross waited until he was sure the tired agents must be asleep. In their absence he had prepared the apartment. A tiny hole in the corner of the living room window was unseen by the returning agents. A small rubber pipe was pushed through the hole, the hiss of gas was quiet, only if you had stood right next to it would you have heard it. The gas he calculated would prevent Larabee, sleeping in the living room, from waking, while Ross immobilised him. It would also keep the kid asleep long enough for him to reach him. Being heavier than air, the gas would not penetrate the second floor bedroom. But then, he didn't want Wilmington asleep. That was no fun. As he watched the minutes count down, Ross prepared to cut the glass in the window and slip silently into the room.

+ + + + + + +

Chris slept deeply, drug induced and unaware of his surroundings. He did not react as he was handcuffed to a radiator pipe, gagged and all weapons and phones were put out of his reach. JD was not quite so deeply under the influence of the narcotic gas, he mumbled something as he too was gagged, cuffed and carried to the bathroom where the cuffs were repositioned to secure him to a towel ring. When JD came to, he would have a good view of the hallway and more importantly, the spiral staircase. Chris, if he came round in time, would also have a view from the floor of the living room. Ross checked his watch; in less than two minutes he could remove the mask he was wearing. He spent the time creeping up the spiral staircase. Discarding the mask at the top of the stairs, he checked that the safety catch was off and the silencer in place, and that the gun was properly loaded with a round in the chamber. Then, gun in hand; he opened the door as silently as possible. Buck slept the deep, dreamless sleep of the exhausted, covers tossed aside he lay sprawled on his back in the middle of the bed, dressed only in an old pair of boxers.

Ross felt the old tingle of pleasure and excitement. He had observed his victim from afar for some time - he knew he had lost none of his looks in the intervening years and was gratified to see that, even at nearly forty, Wilmington was still a fine physical specimen. Lean and muscular, just as he remembered him - that was good because Ross really preferred them young, and when he was through he would have some fun with the boy downstairs. But not yet, first he had to attend to unfinished business, Wilmington was a loose end that had to be tied off, no one got the better of the him and won, no one.

The apartment wasn't soundproof, so he would have to prevent his victim crying out which was not the way he liked it, normally he liked to hear them scream and beg and plead, but needs must, he was resigned to losing that little pleasure. Besides, as he remembered it, Wilmington mostly just swore in the foulest language. He could see the gun on the nightstand and approached quietly and removed it. Then, standing in the doorway, from where he could just see down into the bathroom to the slumped form of JD, and also into the bedroom, he called Buck's name. He called softly but loud enough to penetrate the big man's subconscious, a subconscious that was never going to forget that voice. After only the second time his name was called, Buck shot straight up in bed, staring at the figure standing on the shadowed landing.

An old, primeval fear gripped him as he fought the need to run, his hand shot out for the gun, but found only an empty holster. Ross stood there mocking, gun complete with silencer trained on him.

"Now Buck, you don't think I'd leave that lying around do you?" His voice was oily and mocking.

Overcoming the need to run, a stronger emotion gripped Buck. The need to protect JD overrode all other emotions, he wanted to launch himself at the man, tear him limb from limb, but he would probably get himself shot. Then no one would protect JD from the mad man. Buck resolved that if he had to he would endure the whole nightmare again, if that were what it took to save his kid 'brother' from going through the same living hell.

"I got your little friend in my sights, so you best come real quiet and co-operate. After all, you know the drill, right?" The voice that had haunted so many nightmares cut through Buck like a dagger.

This can't really be happening again, it's got to be a nightmare, he thought to himself as he got off the bed and walked toward the door as Ross backed down the stairs. Half way down the stairs he saw JD sitting against the bathroom wall, his hands cuffed above his head to the towel ring. He seemed to be okay; in fact he was apparently coming around. As he got lower he spotted Chris on the floor of the living room, he was lying on his side, his hands cuffed to a heating pipe - he looked to be uninjured but definitely unconscious. Buck realised he was at the bottom of the stairs, Ross now had two guns out, one pointed at Buck, the other at JD.

"First things first, lose the boxers." Ross instructed.

Buck watched the guns; he would never make it to Ross, even if he were looking at JD, before he could fire and he would do nothing to risk his friend’s life. So, despite the nauseatingly sick fear in his stomach, he pushed the shorts down and let then drops to the ground. A noise to his left made Buck look into the bathroom. There his eyes met JD's, a look of pure horror on his young face.

"It's alright JD just sit tight." Buck tried to sound confident.

"That’s right, you sit tight - I'll get to you when I'm finished with Bucky boy here." Ross sneered.

"You son of a bitch… I'll fucking kill you before I let you get him!" Buck spat at him.

"You could try, but I rather think I'll kill you first, then who will protect him?" JD struggled against his cuffs and the gag, he wanted to tell this bastard he could protect him and Buck, and if Buck were hurt he would kill him. "He's got spirit too, I do like them with spirit, what do you say kid, you got as much grit as Buck here? He was the best you know, no one lasted as long as Buck, no one!"

JD's eyes shot to Buck, pleading with him to deny this, he knew they had been hiding something from him, he didn't want to believe it was something as terrible as this. He had convinced himself that Buck had escaped almost immediately; now this monster was claiming just the opposite - that Buck had been held the longest. Ross picked up what the look in the kid's eyes meant.

"You didn't tell him Buck! Oh, but you should be proud, " Ross turned to JD, " he lasted three days before he ran out on me, no one ever lasted three days, he was magnificent." Then he turned back to Buck. "But you did run out on me. That was rude you know, I wasn't finished with you, now we need to finish this." His voice was positively black. "Behind you, on the stairs, you'll find a pair of cuffs - put one on."

Buck looked up at the stairs; surprised he had not seen the cuffs resting on the tread at about his head height.

"Now cuff yourself as high as you can to the upright support." As Buck began to comply, Ross looked briefly at something that had been leaning against the wall. "We need, Buck my boy, to get to the point where we let off last time. So I thought this might be quicker."

JD and Buck looked at the object, it was three-foot length of scaffolding pole. JD knew with something that heavy Buck would be dead in no time. He tried with all his strength to get free he just couldn't sit there and watch Buck beaten to death. Why? Why did he have be the runt, why couldn't he be as strong as Josiah, he would have been free in an instant. This madman knew he was weak; he'd only cuffed him to a damn towel ring for God sake! Not Chris - oh no, Chris was cuffed to a pipe. Buck was going to die because he was a weak little runt! He continued to pull and yank at the restraints holding him, grunting though the gag.

"That’s good little one, you keep trying, the more spirit the better, that's what I like, I can see you and me are going to have fun later!" Ross actually sounded like he was encouraging a dog to fetch a stick. The sadist then spoke to Buck.

"Now, we don't want the neighbours to come running, so, new rules. You make one sound and I'll kill your boss over there." He nodded his head in Chris' direction. "A second sound and I'll kill you and then the kid will be all mine. Do we understand each other?" Buck nodded slowly.

He knew Ross was not making idle threats; he would do as he said without a second thought. But, as his eyes drifted to the pole and he remembered the agonising pain of his first time in Ross' hands he feared he could not comply, eventually he would make a sound. Buck made it look like he was cuffed, as JD 's struggles got Ross' attention. He played his only card, a desperate one, but all he had. Grabbing hold of the stair tread he levered himself up, and with lightning reflexes he shot out both his impossibly long legs hoping and praying they would reach. In an instant, both feet smashed into the gun pointed in his direction, it clattered to the ground as Ross was knocked off balance. Letting go of the stairs he lunged at Ross, ripping the second gun from his grasp as he did. As Ross lay on the floor, Buck pressed the gun in his hand to his forehead, he held it there for a long time before he got off the man and backed up a few steps. Ross also stood, now he and Buck were both in JD's sight again. The young agent breathed a sigh of relief.

"Ain't over Bucky boy." Ross sneered, "I'll go back to jail alright, but I might get out again, might get parole - after all, I've never been convicted of murder. If I get out I'll find you and him; I'll be back Buck, count on it. Or I might enlist one of my disciples, I have lots you know, on the inside and outside. You should see the fan mail, lots of devoted followers."

Buck’s naked body shook, JD could see wave after wave of tremors running through his friend’s body, but his gun hand never moved. It remained rock steady, the weapon trained on the now unarmed sadist.

Ross' voice was taunting, revelling in the fact that he still had some power; he was, to a degree, still in control. "You'll never be free of me, somehow I will finish what I started, and then I'll take the boy an' see if he's made of the same stuff, see if he can break your record."

The report of the gun, Buck's own gun, exploded in the confined space of the hallway.

Part 3

Buck slid to his knees, the smoke still rising from the barrel of the gun. Frantically, JD yanked at the towel ring above him, finally ripping it out of the wall, he could hear Chris' groggy voice calling Buck's name from the living room. As JD stood, he saw Ross' body slumped half in the hall, half in the living room, a single bullet wound to the forehead. He must have died instantly. Pulling the gag out of his own mouth he turned to Buck, kneeling near the spiral stairs a hunted vacant look in his cobalt blue eyes.

"Buck?" JD approached him.

"JD - no!" Chris called out as loud as he could, but it was too late. JD placed a hand on his 'brothers' shoulder and instantly Buck became a terrified feral animal. He shot back across the floor until he was completely under the stairs his back against the wall, knees tight up to his chest, arms wrapped around them, a pair of hand cuffs still hanging from his right wrist, head buried in his chest. The gun that had been in his hand slowly slid down his shins and onto the floor.

"JD," Chris called, "don't touch him and don't go near him!" JD turned to Chris in terrified confusion. "Trust me JD, I've seen this before, just get a key and get us out of these things."

Once out of the handcuffs Chris called the police, he knew the neighbours had most likely done this already, but Chris needed the local station to make sure the first officers on scene were female. Then he turned to the body. Ross was lying a good three feet from the nearest gun. Larabee's eyes met JD's, he knew the young man was struggling with the concept that his friend, big brother, hero, mentor had shot an unarmed man; however repulsive. Chris went into the bathroom and returned with a sheet of paper he then picked up the silenced gun with the paper and placed it in Ross's lifeless, outstretched hand.

"He was going to shoot you, Buck had no choice," he said quietly. "That is what happened. That is what you will say." The older man studied the principled young man for a long time until he finally nodded. "Alright, now you watch him, but don't go near him, you understand?"

"No Chris I don't understand, Buck's not frightened of me, and he can't be."

"JD - he's terrified of you right now, and me and Vin and Ezra, all of us; we're men, I'm going to be able to explain it better later, just for now do as I say, okay?" JD nodded his compliance. Then the two of them got their joint fabricated stories straight Chris put in just enough inconsistencies to make it believable, that was important as they could both genuinely claim to have been unconscious or only semi-conscious at the time.

JD was vaguely aware of Chris making two more phone calls, before the first police sirens could be heard approaching the apartment. Chris met the police outside; he used his status as a federal agent to gain some control over the crime scene. The first police officer in was Sergeant Louise MacDonald, an experienced officer in her late forties. Chris showed her the body, now under a blanket, he very briefly explained who he was and asked if it was alright if she could hold off the forensics, photographers and coroners until she had helped them get Buck out of the hall and into JD's room.

Louise removed her belt and cap; she then got down on her hands and knees and approached Buck.

"Hello Buck, my name's Louise." She kept her voice gentle and feminine. "I know you're scared, but you'll be safer in the bedroom, we can close the door and you can get into bed. Come on," she put her hand on his, "let's get rid of these."

With infinite care she removed the handcuffs. He made no attempt to stop her, and when she was done, he looked up. The look of pure terror in those dark blue eyes made her heart miss a beat.

"Will you come with me?" His eyes went past her and on to the mass under the blanket. "It's okay, he can't hurt you now, come on… come with me." She took his hand in hers. To Chris' relief, he allowed her to lead him out from under the stairs to JD's bedroom. She re-emerged shutting the door behind her.

"He's in bed, you might want to get him something to wear." She smiled at Chris "He wants to know if someone called JD is okay." She hoped he knew what that meant, Chris turned to JD.

"Get him some clothes then go and tell him you're alright, don't get too close." Chris instructed.

"I understand Chris." JD said as he headed for the stairs. Despite what he told Chris, JD was convinced he could get though to the real Buck, that nothing could come between him and his 'brother'. He opened the door to his own room quietly.

+ + + + + + +

"I got you some clothes, I'm going to put them here." He walked around to the side of the bed Buck was facing, as he lay tightly curled on his side under the bedclothes. He looked at Buck as he gently lay the clothing on a chair, first tossing a heap of his own dirty laundry on to the floor.

"If I'd known I was going to have a visitor I'd have cleaned up," he joked.

Buck never even looked up - his head was buried low against his chest.

"Buck," JD persisted, "I know you're scared, you always tell me it's okay to be scared, between you and me we don't have to pretend. I'm here what ever happens I'll always be here for you, just like you're always there for me."

He was rewarded with a slight head movement; Buck’s head came up enough for him to look at JD.

"No one is going to hurt you any more - he's dead, he can't get you ever again." Then he realised that they were not the words of reassurance Buck wanted to hear.

"He can't ever get me, you stopped him," he said.

He should have known it was his safety, not his own, that was Buck's first concern. JD thought he saw some slight acknowledgement in Buck's eyes but he wasn't sure. He was kneeling on the floor; head level with Buck's, about five feet from him. Convinced he had got through, he made a movement forward. Instantly Buck moved back. It was only a small movement but it stopped JD in his tracks.

"I'm sorry… I'm sorry," he stammered, backing off again.

Try as he might, JD could not envisage just what a man as strong as Buck, had had to endure to produce this kind of fear. He'd read the files and seen the autopsy reports on the first few victims, but it was all written in such clinical terms, he'd gotten no sense of the horror of what Ross had done to his victims. He was aware there were holes in the files, no trial transcript for one thing; but other cases had demanded his attention before he could try to locate the missing documentation. Now he wished he had, now he knew the truth, he wanted to help his friend, but found himself totally inadequate to the task.

+ + + + + + +

Buck's rational mind told him JD was no threat, on the contrary JD would help him, protect him, but his primal, irrational fear-flight response was too strong. It told him to run from the things that can hurt, from the source of the pain and shame, from men, men were dangerous, and men were the enemy. He was also very afraid because, try as he might, he couldn't remember the last few minutes of his life, he remembered waking up when that voice had penetrated his mind. He remembered Ross threatening JD, he remembered Ross holding a gun and pointing it at JD, but then everything went haywire and nothing made sense. Just how did he end up in JD's room? Of course Buck wasn't aware of his unconscious mind, so he found his fear of his 'brother' equally frightening, he couldn't help recoiling from him - even though he didn't want to he couldn't help himself.

Outside the bedroom, Chris orchestrated things to protect Buck as best he could, it didn't take much to persuade the police that Buck was in no state to be interviewed, Sergeant MacDonald confirmed that the man was nearly catatonic. The police did the things they had to do and Chris gave his statement, all the time hoping it would tally with JD's. Just as he finished, he heard the two people he was expecting arrive. Vin came in after arguing with the officer on the door. He had with him a plain brown envelope. Behind Vin came Ezra, and an older lady with a sturdy black bag.

This was Doctor Chin; she occasionally worked in the medical centre at the federal building. She looked as though she had just been pulled out of bed, bleary eyed and cross. Chris marvelled that Ezra had got her so fast, he wondered if Ezra had simply broken into the records office to get her address or some place in the federal building, some night clerk was still recovering, after Ezra had held him or her at gunpoint. He even wondered if Miss Chin had been brought here at gunpoint. Chris immediately took the bewildered medic aside and gave her a brief rundown of the history between Ross and Buck, and the nights’ events.

"The thing is Doc - we got back from Montana about midnight, Buck hadn't slept in the two days before, so he's had less then two hours sleep on top of all this," he explained, "and I don't want him giving any statements in his current state, even assuming he could give a statement." He looked over at the closed bedroom door. "I've seen this before, he'll come out of it on his own, he just needs lots of rest and to be left alone." Chris hoped he had conveyed what he wanted from her.

"I think I'm getting the picture, agent Larabee, perhaps I should see Mr. Wilmington now," she said patiently.

The police had wanted one of their doctors to see Buck, but Larabee had beaten them to it by bringing in a Federal doctor, now they just had to accept what she said. Chris opened the door quietly; he looked across at JD, now sitting cross-legged on the floor, still a good five feet from Buck. Chris signalled JD to come out. Silently the young man rose and exited the room, leaving Buck alone with the doctor.

Chris explained who the lady was, although in truth JD had recognised her, and was glad to recall Buck had seen her only a month ago to have some stitches removed.

"Come on JD, you have to give your statement." Chris ushered JD reluctantly out of the door. JD was more nervous than he had ever been giving a statement; he was not a man who lied well, that’s why he almost never went under cover. He left that to Buck and Ezra who found it so easy, even Nathan could lie better than him. He hoped the police would not notice or if they did put it down to the trauma of the nights’ events. Vin, who always saw everything, could see it was more than that. Nevertheless, he got his story out, he didn't slip up and hopefully the police had believed him. Once he was through with the police, Chris spoke to him.

+ + + + + + +

At Buck's insistence, the others, and JD in particular, had been shielded from the full truth as to just what had happened to him. He was still unwilling or unable to talk about what had been done to him, he didn't know how JD would react; how he would react to JD knowing, and his relationship with JD was too precious to risk. Chris tried to tell him his fears were groundless, but Buck was adamant. His relationship with the kid was in part based on Buck protecting JD, always being there for him, he didn't want JD to see how powerless and helpless, as he saw it, he had been in the grip of pure evil. If he couldn't protect himself from evil, how could he protect JD?

Putting a hand on JD's shoulder Chris explained. "There are things you need to know JD, things about what happened fourteen years ago. Buck didn't want you to know the whole story, I think he was wrong but I respected his wishes, but things have changed so I'm gonna show you. Here..." He handed over the envelope Vin had brought in with him. It was still sealed. "Take it upstairs, read, look and listen. Don't come down until I come for you or the cops have gone."

As JD went upstairs, the Doctor came out. Both policemen and ATF agents gathered around her. She however, only spoke to Chris.

"Agent Wilmington, " she changed her mind, "Buck, is suffering from an extreme emotional trauma, I believe that given enough rest, and a sympathetic environment, he will recover. To help this I have, with his permission, given him a sedative, he is now asleep and I don't expect him to wake for at least twelve hours, I will return in eleven hours to check on him. He is not to be questioned until I say so."

This last remark she directed at the police.


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